HYDE PARK — The tulip that broke the Dutch economy is on sale this weekend as part of the yearly benefit for the neighborhood’s parks and gardens.
“They were selling in the Amsterdam markets for what would be millions of dollars today,” said Joy Rosner, one of the organizers of Saturday’s Mum and Bulb Sale at the Hyde Park Shopping Center, 1550 E. 50th St.
Rosner has picked out 11,000 heritage and new varieties of flowering bulbs for the sale, including the tulips that were so popular in Holland in 1637 that they created a speculative frenzy that later crashed.
“I [had] one in my yard once and it was much prettier than the picture,” George Rumsey said of the splotchy blossom. Rumsey who manages the specialty bulbs for the sale.
Rosner has also selected daffodils that Thomas Jefferson grew at his Monticello estate and new varieties never seen before in Hyde Park.
“We try very hard to buy plants and bulbs that can be grown relatively easily,” Rosner said. “All the bulbs we’re selling will do very well in this climate.”
The proceeds — and unsold bulbs — will be used to beautify parks and gardens in Hyde Park.
For those without a yard, the mum and bulb sale has expanded to include house plants, succulents, ferns and cacti.